5 Issues Post Draft

The Redskins didn't make any big trades, didn't move up to acquire the superstar-in-waiting (Calvin Johnson), didn't trade down to acquire more picks (they stayed at six) and weren't brainwashed by Drew Rosenhaus to complete a deal for Lance Briggs with the Chicago Bears. With the draft over, here are five issues to wrap up the weekend.


The Redskins drafted a safety, quarterback, tight end and two linebackers. But they didn't draft a defensive tackle to shore up the run defense and didn't draft an end to help the pass rush. Ends Andre Carter, Phillip Daniels and Renaldo Wynn didn't do much last year but I can understand them not looking that way. But no defensive tackles? That's a mystery. They should have taken a tackle with the sixth pick. They should have taken a tackle on the second day. But now they are likely to enter training camp with Cornelius Griffin, Joe Salave'a, Kedric Golston and Anthony Montgomery. The first two are getting older and have injury histories. The last two are only second-year players. This is cause for concern.


The Redskins drafted sixth in what many considered a five-player draft. That made it difficult to trade down from their position. They didn't have the chips to trade up. So they were basically stuck at six. They weren't bad enough to get into the top four and weren't good enough to be drafting in the 13-19 range, where teams found willing trading partners. Three years ago, when they drafted fifth, the Redskins had to stay put because they needed a player (they chose safety Sean Taylor). Two years ago, they stayed in the top 10 because they needed to draft cornerback Carlos Rogers to replace Fred Smoot. This year, they wanted to trade down but couldn't find a good enough deal.


The draft's second day didn't produce an offensive guard so it appears Todd Wade will get the first, second and last shots to win the left guard spot vacated by Derrick Dockery, who signed with Buffalo for a piece of the Niagara Falls tourist industry and several more millions. Wade is a life-long tackle who was a reserve for the Redskins last year. Gibbs said he had to talk Wade into considering a move to guard and re-signing. Uh, OK. More than likely, what happened is that Wade scoured the market and found nobody willing to make him a starting tackle so he comes back to the Redskins to make starter's money and play guard. It's a risk because a transition is involved but it was probably the best-case scenario.


Although Joe Gibbs said the Redskins aren't shifting their philosophy as it pertains to the draft, their non-actions during the draft were telling. They entered and left the weekend with all five of their 2008 picks (every round except for the fourth) at their disposal. Now that doesn't mean they'll have all those picks come next April. But it does represent some restraint. The Redskins could have very easily mortgaged their future (again) to get into the Calvin Johnson Sweepstakes or given away a mid-round pick to sweeten their offer for Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs. But they stood pat. I'm guessing that Gibbs has had enough of having only one pick in the first three rounds.


The free agency is pretty much completed and the draft is over. The Redskins were 5-11 last year and last in the NFC East. Where do they rank in early May? The division isn't very strong – the Giants have quarterback, linebacker and running back issues. The Eagles' best player is coming off knee surgery and they have linebacker and receiver issues. The Cowboys have a brand new coaching staff and Tony Romo is still relatively unproven. Can there be a four-way tie for first/last? Of course not, so I'll go Eagles (because of Donovan McNabb), Cowboys (because Wade Phillips will get that defense turned around) and then, in a tie, the Redskins (because they will outscore some teams) and the Giants (just because I don't think they're a last-place team).

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